Fossil’s orchestras spring concert

Beth Farrand, Arts Writer

Orchestra director Luciano Silvestri Jr. conducted Fossil Ridge High Schools three orchestras during a concert on Monday, March 9, 2020. 

Starting off the night’s program was Fossil’s Sinfonietta Orchestra, the ninth grade orchestra. They played a total of five songs, three of which were written by composer Doug Spata, starting with “Avatar” by Doug Spata. Spata has composed a number of pieces for operas, symphonies, ballets and of course, students in the classroom. He is a teacher, composer and clarinetist. Following “Avatar” was “Allegro from Concertino” by Samuel Adler, then “Gargoyles” by Doug Spata, “Artemis Rising” by Jeffrey S. Bishop, and “Gauntlet,” also by Spata. “Artemis Rising” is about a greek goddess. The song is played in a minor mode and ends in a major key. 

Concert Orchestra, the next level up after Sinfonietta, was next to the stage. Concert beautifully played three pieces. “A Pirates Legend” was first and “Perseus” was last, both composed by American composer Soon Hee Newbold. “Perseus” pulls the audience along with hero Perseus on his journey to save a princess. The third song played by this orchestra was “City of Steel” by Doug Spata. “City of Steel” is considered a grade four piece. Music is based on a one through six grading scale with six being the most advanced. This piece shows techniques like shifting, moving your hand up and down the instrument to reach different notes, and chromatics. Chromatics are scales played in a linear manner with pitches one semitone above or below the previous note. They are meant to be exercises for students; however, some songs have chromatics worked into them. 

Ending the night’s concert was Fossil’s advanced orchestra, Symphony Orchestra. They played two songs, each with multiple movements. First was Divertimento, K. 138 by W. A. Mozart with three movements, Allegro, Andante and Presto. This piece was written in 1772 in F major. The last song of the night was St. Paul’s Suite composed by Gustav Holst. This piece consists of four movements, Jig, Ostinato, Intermezzo and Finale (The Dargason). Written in 1913 and published 1922, St. Paul’s Suite was written about and for the students at St. Paul’s Girls School in Hammersmith, London were Holst worked as the schools “music master” in the early 1900s. 

One violist joined two of the three orchestras on stage. Hannah Mullins, principal (first chair) violist, played with both the Concert Orchestra and Symphony Orchestra throughout the night. Mullins was also one of the students selected for Colorado All State Orchestra as well as Western States Honor Orchestra. Mullins has also won the Greeley Chamber Orchestra Concerto Competition. She is set to perform the Stamitz Viola Concerto on Friday, March 13, 2020 at the Trinity Episcopal Church in Greeley at 7:30 p.m. For all interested in attending, students are free while general admission is only $10.